Online brokers use their own proprietary trading software specifically developed for the brokerage. This protects them under laws of copyright, contracts, patents, trade secrets and host of other legal activities. The “Big Five”, Charles Schwab, Fidelity, E*Trade, TD Ameritrade and Scottrade, has an oligopoly on stock trading activities.
On May 15, 2012, two smaller companies, Florida based TradeKing and San Francisco based Zecco, agreed to merge challenging the so called “Big Five”. Together the merged company will have approximately 500,000 client accounts and several billion dollars of client assets.
Zecco’s mobile applications are superior to that of TradeKing. TradeKing has far superior options tools and a bond platform. Zecco also has a capability to conduct foreign exchange transactions. It is expected that these will be the hub of the newly merged company platform. Most of us are attracted to online trading sites due to low fees. TradeKing currently charge $4.95 a stock trade and everyone hope that the current pricing will continue after the merger.
More and more online traders turn to social media for new clients and ease of client’s access to their online trading accounts. Most of us can trade from any Website including Facebook on any proprietary platform that we subscribe.